When the pandemic hit, many aspects of daily life changed, including how we get food. Tampa food deliveries increased monumentally due to social distancing orders. Demand for food delivery services like Uber Eats, Postmates, Grubhub, Instacart, and DoorDash suddenly skyrocketed.
UberEats reported a tenfold increase in restaurants seeking to switch to take-out-only services. Furthermore, Tampa restaurants experienced 75% of food orders placed through third-party delivery apps. Before the pandemic, restaurants only placed about 20% of orders through food delivery services.
Food delivery became a hopeful new avenue for people laid off or temporarily unemployed during the pandemic. Unfortunately, while these services gave people convenient food and job certainty, it also caused another trend – an increase in food delivery accidents.
If a food delivery driver in Tampa injured you, you might want to seek professional legal advice. A Tampa Food Delivery Accident Attorney understands that food delivery accidents in Tampa present unique challenges. With their experience and expertise, they can assess your case and devise a winning strategy to ensure you get the compensation you deserve.
Top Food Delivery Services in Tampa
Numerous different food delivery apps make mealtimes convenient and quick. They all have insurance policies that vary in coverage amount and damage liability from accidents. Some of the most popular food delivery services in Tampa include:
DoorDash is one of the biggest food delivery companies, with over 310,000 restaurants in 4,000 cities worldwide. Grubhub is also a household name for food delivery services, servicing over 400,000 orders daily through their app. If you were injured in an accident with any of these companies, speak with a Tampa Food Delivery Accident Attorney.
Why Are Tampa Food Delivery Accidents So Complicated?
An accident involving a food delivery driver in Florida won’t be the same as a regular car accident. For starters, big corporations like UberEats and Grubhub go to great lengths to protect their reputations and reduce liabilities. As such, they don’t usually provide commercial accident coverage for their drivers.
Additionally, many delivery drivers are independent contractors or gig workers. Since they are not technically company employees, the company can deflect responsibility for an accident caused by a delivery driver. Most drivers must show proof of individual or personal insurance coverage to contract with a food delivery company. However, they are only required to carry the minimum amount of coverage. In Florida, that’s only $10,000 in personal injury protection and $10,000 for property damage liability.
So if your damages exceed those limits, you may need to file a personal injury claim to seek additional damage compensation. And if you sustained serious injuries, your losses likely exceed the insurance limits.
If the driver is employed directly by the company, they will most likely have insurance liability policies to cover accident damages. However, there are very specific rules when they apply. For example, if a food delivery driver is waiting to take an order but is not en route with an order when the accident occurs, company insurance won’t cover it. But, if the driver is on the way to pick up an order or on the way to a customer’s house (within their scope of employment), you may be able to seek damage compensation.
As you can see, determining liability is not always easy. That’s why letting a professional Tampa Food Delivery Accident Attorney work on your case is best.
Scope of Employment in a Tampa Food Delivery Accident
As we explained, many Tampa food delivery drivers are independent contractors. However, if they are company employees, the company could be legally responsible for the accident.
The employer could be liable if the employer acted in the course and scope of their employment when the accident occurred. One challenge we often see in this scenario is the company’s insurance arguing that the employee was not acting within the scope of their employment. For example, suppose the accident occurred while the driver made a personal stop between deliveries. In that case, the company might claim they were not within their scope of employment while the accident occurred.
A Tampa Food Delivery Accident Attorney can assess your case to determine if the driver was an employee, independent contractor, or another status. Then, we will identify all liable parties and pursue them for financial recovery.
Food Delivery Drivers Have a Higher Likelihood of Tampa Car Accidents
According to scientific research, delivery drivers have some of the highest accident rates in the US. So why do food delivery drivers have a higher likelihood of causing accidents?
Pressure to Deliver Orders on Time
Drivers are incentivized to make more money by driving faster and delivering more orders. In addition, food delivery apps often allow customers to leave ratings for delivery drivers. If a delivery takes too long, customers will leave a low rating. This can harm the driver’s job success or earning potential. Unfortunately, this makes some delivery drivers speed or drive recklessly to get food delivered faster.
Lacking Sufficient Driving Experience
Not all drivers who work for food delivery companies have adequate experience on the road. They might be young, new drivers. Younger drivers are more likely to get in accidents caused by speeding, distractions, and other driving errors. Additionally, regardless of age, a new driver on the job might be unfamiliar with new driving routes. While it’s necessary to get to the destination, a GPS or navigation system can easily become a manual and visual distraction while driving.
Many Hours Spent on the Road
If your job is delivering food, you are likely driving around for many hours in the day. That means they are spending more time on the road than others. As a result, they are automatically more vulnerable to getting into an accident.
What Causes Tampa Food Delivery Accidents?
Additional causes of food delivery accidents in Tampa include:
- Abrupt lane changes
- Failing to yield to the right of way
- Reckless driving
- Fatigue while making deliveries
- Distracted driving
Seeking legal services from a Tampa Food Delivery Accident Attorney will ensure that you can gather sufficient evidence to prove negligence.
Who Can Be Held Liable for Damages in a Tampa Food Delivery Accident?
You must determine who is responsible if you sustained injuries due to a negligent food delivery driver. That way, you know which party is responsible for covering your damage compensation. Holding food delivery drivers accountable after an accident is often very difficult. Here’s why.
Company insurance will only cover accidents after exhausting the driver’s insurance. Additionally, you must prove the driver was on active delivery when the accident occurred. While DoorDash has a policy limit exceeding $1 million, they only cover bodily injury and property damage. They also require all drivers to carry personal insurance to serve as primary coverage after an accident. On The other hand, Grubhub does not provide commercial insurance and requires drivers to obtain their insurance.
It’s important to call a Tampa Food Delivery Accident Attorney who can help you accurately determine liability for your case.
Contact a Tampa Food Delivery Accident Attorney Today
Food delivery is one of the greatest conveniences in today’s world. However, the cost of convenience is often a rushed driver who poses a risk on the roads. If you or someone you love was injured in a Tampa food delivery accident, don’t try to handle the complex issues of liability and insurance alone. Instead, contact a knowledgeable Tampa Food Delivery Accident Attorney.